Engaging a real estate agent to help you buy your dream home sounds like a wise first step; however, not all real estate agents have the same expertise in helping you get a good deal, so choosing the right agent is crucial for your home search to be fruitful.
If you’re on the lookout for a home broker who’s the right fit for your needs, here are eight key questions you should ask before making a decision.
How long have you been in business?
Experience makes a ton of difference in this field, and anybody helping you look for a home as per your specifications should have at least a few years’ experience along with a valid real estate license. If the agent is a newbie, check if they are affiliated with a real estate agency or an experienced broker who will guide them in the process.
Which areas do you cater to in this neighborhood?
A real estate agent who is familiar with a neighborhood will have more information about life in a particular locality as well as other pertinent information such as property prices, public transportation and civic amenities, safety, schools, medical facilities, and so on.
Moreover, seasoned agents who specialize in a certain area will likely have access to the best listings in town.
How many homebuyers have you catered to in recent past?
Most real estate agents deal in both buying and selling of residential properties; however, some leading brokers specialize in buying homes and therefore have more experience helping home buyers find the right house within their budget.
When you’re interviewing agents, look for one with extensive experience in home buying. This way you can be sure that they have the expertise and skills to work with home buyers.
Can I have a few referrals?
Ask your home buyer’s agent a list of their clients that you can contact to learn more about the agent’s quality of service. If they can’t provide referrals, it means they probably don’t have the experience you’re looking for.
How long does it take you generally to find a home as per a buyer’s specifications?
While you’ll find many agents claiming to specialize in real estate purchase in a particular neighborhood, few can claim to have closed a significant number of deals swiftly and successfully. Looking for a house is indeed a long process which can take up to two months and then another two weeks to prepare documents and close the deal.
While the time it will take you to buy a house in a certain area depends on several factors, such as availability of homes, time of year, pricing and so forth, it’s important that you appoint an agent who won’t take eons to find relevant listings that suit your requirements and budget.
How will you find homes that match my specifications?
A seasoned agent will have a robust process in place to help them understand your requirement in detail. Not only this, they should be able to tell you if your criteria are practical and your expected buying price is realistic enough.
So ask the agent how they will go about helping you find a home and use your instinct to gauge whether they have the expertise to do a thorough job.
Do you have a team working for you or are you a one-person army?
There is no hard and fast rule about who can give you better service; at times, a team may not be able to give you the same experience that a solo entrepreneur can. However, there are many upsides to working with a brokerage firm as then you have the support of an entire team if the particular agent assigned to you is occupied or unavailable.
For instance, the experienced team at HomesInMeridian.com specializes in helping homebuyers find the best homes in Meridian, Idaho, and working with them means you will have a bunch of seasoned professionals looking out for your best interests.
What is your realtor fee?
Last but not least, ask the real estate agency to clearly specify the fee they will charge toward their services, along with the estimated time they will take to find you a house that suits your budget, lifestyle and taste.
Ideally, the agent should be willing to have some room for negotiation, but if they can justify their commission, go ahead and recruit them once you’re satisfied that they have the relevant experience and resources to serve you well.